Aged Men and Women Titus 2: 2-3 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Titus 2:1-3, Paul addresses the desirable characteristics of aged men and women. These are qualities that lend credibility to the things they teach younger women and men [Titus 2:4-6].
Aged men are to be:
Sober – they are not to get drunk. Lemuel’s mother taught him that kings shouldn’t drink, at all [Prov 31:4-5; Rev 1:5-6]. Also, a sober person shows no excessive or extreme qualities of fancy or emotion.
Grave – they are authoritative. The folks listening to the sermon on the mount said of Jesus that he taught as one having authority. That was because of his sound doctrine [Titus 2:1; Matt 7:28-29]. Grave men have a serious and dignified demeanor. They don’t pretend to be dignified; they ARE dignified.
Temperate – they are under control. Temperance is the fruit of the Spirit [Gal 5:22-23]. A temperate man is balanced. He eats properly, sleeps sufficiently, works diligently, and exercises moderately. He rules his spirit [Prov 25:28], controls his passion, feeds his soul, and sharpens his mind. He talks to God about men and to men about God.
Sound in faith – the faith of an aged man should be free from error. Men get this from reading and believing God’s words. God’s words are in the KJV. Every word in that Bible is God’s. Sound faith is doctrinally correct and solid [2 Tim 4:2-4]. It holds up in crises and conflict. It is stable.
Sound in charity – this is firm and stable charity; not fickle, not with respect of persons. It matches 1 Cor 13:1-8. Sound charity “never faileth.”
Sound in patience – aged men should be thoroughly patient. They know that the work of God in people takes a long time to accomplish if it is going to be done right. So they are not in a rush. Young men are generally in a rush. Aged men have seen the fallacy of rushing the work of God. Haste makes waste.
Aged women are to be:
“In behavior as becometh holiness” – behavior that becometh holiness is behavior that is “suitable to” holiness. Like we say “that dress is very becoming.”
Holiness primarily means “devoted entirely to God.” For example, Ex 20:8 says, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” That’s a day set apart entirely for God; no work was done that day. Therefore, a woman’s holiness magnifies God.
According to 1 Pet 3:3-5, holy women are known, not by their outward adorning [1 Pet 3:3], but by their “trust in God” [1 Pet 3:5]. The three behaviors that clearly demonstrate their trust in God and that should adorn them are:
- A chaste conversation coupled with fear [1 Pet 3:2, meaning “pure in thought and act’]
- A “meek and quiet spirit” [1 Pet 3:4], and
- “subjection” to their own husbands [1 Pet 3:5]. See also 1 Cor 7:34 [the balance in marriage].
When their conversations are chaste, their spirits are meek and quiet, and they are in subjection to their husbands, their behavior is holy. They are adorned with holiness. And this is even truer when their husbands are disobedient to the words of God [1 Pet 3:1-2].
“Not false accusers” – to accuse someone means to “charge them with a fault or offense.” A true accusation is one that is supported by true facts. The Bible, for example, truly accused the Pharisees in Jn 5:45-47. But, in the Bible, most of the time accusations were false and were brought against innocent people. The Pharisees brought false accusations against Jesus in Jn 18:29 and against Paul in Acts 24:13, for example.
When Paul wrote about deacon’s wives in 1 Tim 3:11 he called people who are false accusers “slanderers.” Evidently, women have a problem with this. Jezebel certainly did in 1 Ki 21:7-10 when she slandered Naboth. We have seen cases of this in churches over the years and the things said can be very damaging. According to Rev 12:10, the devil is the accuser of the brethren. So, women need to be very careful here.
“Not given to much wine” – so, women are to be temperate or moderate. A person given to wine is a person who can’t control the wine but rather who is controlled by the wine. The dangers with wine are found in Prov 20:1 and Eph 5:18. So, aged women should be filled with the Spirit and not under the influence of alcohol. While this part of the verse clearly addresses the use of wine, we can apply it to appetites in general [see “sober” above for the men]. In Prov 23:2 we see a man “given to appetite.” That’s a man who can’t control his appetite. In the context [Prov 23:1-3] he gets deceived by a fellow who serves him “dainties.” I can think of excellent examples of business luncheons and diplomatic feasts that were served to deceive the guests. Women need to be particularly careful not to be swayed or deceived by appeals to their appetites.
“Teachers of good things” – so, women are to be teachers who are to teach good things. The good things they teach are found in the next two verses. And they teach them, not only by instruction, but more importantly by demonstration. Your conduct speaks volumes more than your words. One preacher’s son said that he and his siblings recognized that their mother lived at home what their father preached at church. That’s the gist of what Paul is saying here.
Conclusion: Aged men and women are to BE the things Paul mentioned in this text. When they are, they will be excellent ensamples to those who are younger. Then, when they teach them good things, the younger folks will have good examples to follow.